Re-1 not helping with relocation
I want to let the public know how the Re-1 School District has been assisting me to relocate my business. I have never met with my entire Relocation Committee, and as a committee they never entered my business as I requested. No one has ever officially called me on their own initiative as part of this committee since first meeting in early June. No compensation has been offered for ruining my business. No relocation monies have been offered. So far, I do not think it is going very well.
The eminent domain law of Colorado, Law 630029(b) states: In any case where the acquisition of property by eminent domain by an authority displaces individuals, families, or business concerns, the authority shall make reasonable efforts to relocate such individuals, families, or business concerns within the urban renewal area, where such a relocation is consistent with the uses provided in the urban renewal plan, or in areas within the reasonable proximity of, or comparable to, the original location of such individuals, families, or business concerns.
The school board is required by law to aid in my relocation; it is not a voluntary action. When Dr. Wall said he would do everything “legally required,” I assume he will do the minimum. Before the election, our district thought so little of the people they were going to displace they did not have an urban renewal plan or a plan in place for these businesses. The school’s lawyers have told school board members they are not to talk to any business owners. Since most Relocation Committee members are board members, it’s a direct conflict to put people on my committee that are not allowed to talk to me.
This law encourages the district to relocate me as close to my present location as possible. Just prior to the election, I met with the mediator and asked for a piece of vacant property between the school bus barn and the career center. I asked people through our Gymnastics newsletter to let the district know we needed this piece of property to relocate. Hundreds of people called the school district in response. Dr. Wall claims only three or four people responded, and insinuated that all who called on my behalf were not telling me the truth. I have a feeling only one person is being untruthful.
I know the community believed the school district would relocate and compensate all the affected businesses. Voters personally assured me they “knew” the district would not do the bare minimum when they explained to me why they would vote for this bond. People voted for a new school; they did not vote to displace people out of work, face bankruptcy, lose their homes, and even destroy the livelihoods of parents in their own district. This is like biting the voters’ hands that feed you.
If the school district would trade a 150-by-150-square-foot piece of property between the career center and the bus barn for my lease monies owed, we would build another warehouse for the gym and also relocate Italian Ice. We would level the land to add additional parking for the school, which would almost double the bus parking for Re-1. I would build as far from the career center as possible to make room for future expansion. My business hours would not interfere with the bus schedules.
If the district paid Terry Fattor fair-market value for his building and then trade property for my lease, I could re-create my Gymnastics school without costing the district an added dime ” and improve school property on the bus barn side. I talked to Dr. Wall on Thursday, asking if the school would be interested in dividing up this property, and he said the board does not want a commercial building located in the middle of their property. If you can build a $40 million high school with a commercial property in between, (the Bray Building) you could do it on a vacant lot with two older buildings that are not used full time.
Since Dr. Wall did not “get” the voters phone calls the first time, please call him again. The school district’s number is 384-6000, and Dr. Wall’s direct number is 384-6001. Let him know that Glenwood Cheerleaders (who won state championships three years in a row) and children working toward college scholarships must have a fully equipped gymnastics center.
I want to continue my 20 years of teaching and I want to serve our district’s children. Please call the school district, write a letter, or sign the recall petition this weekend.
Rob Jones is the owner of Glenwood Gymnastics.
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